Paleo Challenge: Week One

I've been doing the Fall Paleo challenge with my CrossFit box for a little more than a week now. It's been a great week and I'm really getting a hang of paleo living. I thought you might be interested in what I'm eating, so, here's a glimpse into my food diary. Paleo-Week-1

Day 1:

Black coffee and a banana. Turkey sausage and scrambled eggs. Salad club salad (with extra virgin olive oil [evoo], rice vinegar, and red wine vinegar). Purple grapes, a quarter of an apple, and a single 100-calorie pack of whole natural almonds. CrossFit. Salmon and kale salad with mashed cauliflower.

-2 for an accidental cheat per the turkey sausage: contents unknown; likely contains additives and sugar.

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Day 2:

Black coffee, large banana, two-egg omelette with bell pepper and red onion topped with 1/2 of an avocado and cherry tomatoes - yum! As a snack I ate a hanful of whole natural almonds and a peach. Salad club salad (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and evoo) for lunch and larabar and carrots mid-afternoon. For dinner I ended up eating Trader Joes plantain chips with a ton of guacamole and fresh salsa. Felt surprisingly full and satisfied after dinner!

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Day 3:

Black coffee, three-egg omelette with fresh salsa and guacamole, and one peach. CrossFit. Snacked on guacamole and plantain chips while I made lunch; made a sweet potatoe hash with slices of green apple, spinach, and chicken sausage and ate that with slices of tomato. Drank water with lime - yum! For dinner: Spaghetti squash topped with beef, diced tomatoes, onions and green peppers.

Didn't have a huge appetite for dinner, or a sweet craving after dinner. Weird. Did have a little headache.

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Day 4 (Saturday):

Banana. CrossFit. Sweet potato hash and an americano from Starbucks- not bad, but I miss my macchiatto! For lunch: bib lettuce wraps with chicken breast, dijon mustard and salsa (some avocado). Snacked on a kiwi and carrots. Run a 5K and ate a green apple afterward. Ate a small bowl of leftover spaghetti squash for dinner. Blended a frozen banana with coconut milk and nutmeg for a treat, OMG. Day = made.

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I felt really irritable in the morning but that may have been because I had a busy day ahead. I also found it hard to eat on the go. We went to the mall and it seemed like there was nothing I could eat there! (Good thing I ate the hash in the car on the way there and wasn't too hungry!) 

Day 5:

Coffee with coconut milk and a handful of almonds - the coconut milk helped but it's still not as good as with my creamer! Three-egg omelette with tomatoes and leftover hash, and a kiwi. More leftover hash and watermelon. Dinner out with friends. I had my first glass of red wine - yum!

-5 For dinner at Grace's Mandarian at the National Harbor. Sarah from Licorice and Olives and her husband were visiting from Australia. The four of us shared a pork dish, mandarian chicken, and salmon dish, and had veggie egg rolls and beef short rib as appetizers. I didn't eat a lot, nor feel bad for what I ate. (Though I was plotting contemplating dessert the entire time. Thankfully, we skipped it!)

Day 6:

Banana and black coffee. Watermelon. Two-egg omelette with onion and tomatoes, and a pear. Ate chicken breast and carrots as a mid-morning snack. Salad club salad (red wine vinegar, evoo, and rice vinegar). Grapes as my afternoon snack. CrossFit. Then dinner: pork chops cooked with apple slices and onion served over a heaping spoonful of cabbage. More banana ice cream. (It's so good!)

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Day 7:

Coffee with coconut milk and a two-egg omlette with bell peppers and onion topped with cherry tomatoes. Salad club salad (just red wine vinegar and evoo). Carrots and grapes as an afternoon snack. CrossFit. Grass-fed beef burger over bib lettuce topped with an over easy egg, salsa, and avocado- delish!

Quick Thoughts:

  • I was really afriad to give up sugar, but it hasn't been as bad as I thought.
  • I miss my deliciously sweet coffees with creamer and coffees from starbucks, but I'm surviving. I don't feel as addicted to coffee as I did before, so I guess that's good!
  • I've been to the grocery store a lot and feel like I'm spending all my money on food, which I do usually anyway, but still!
  • You have to cook. You just have to! Raw veggies won't cut it. I like cooking, but not after working and going to crossfit. I plan to do a Sunday meal prep this weekend.
  • If you don't like avocados, you're screwed. I've eaten so. much. avocado. It's crazy. But crazy good!
  • I'm eating a lot more apple cider vinegar and the stuff has great health benefits! So, that's good!
  • I don't have the strong craving for something sweet like I used to. You know, like after dinner or lunch when you feel like you need some chocolate. None of that. It's awesome.
  • I was getting tired of evoo and vinegar for dressing so I blended a half an avocado with it - creamy and delicious!
  • Larabars are great. I've only had two but they were right on time! Having something that's portable and paleo feels like a luxury.

Moving Forward:

  • I'd like to be a little more cautious about the source of my meat products. Once I finally broke down and bought this organic beef from Costco, I could taste the difference.

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  • I haven't had any bacon yet. That's changing. ASAP.
  • I also haven't had any almond butter and I love almond butter! That's going to be a real treat!
  • I'd like to try more recipes. I was going to make PaleOMG's buffalo chicken pasta but I had no idea where to find duck fat. Lol! If anyone knows, please do tell! Lol!

Tips for you:

I've been practically living off this fresh salsa from Harris Teeter. It's so flavorful and makes seasoning quick and easy. It also makes guacamole very easy to make! It's really important to have paleo-approved items like this (sauces/dressings/etc) within reach because you will want to start adding more flavor to your foods!

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I'm not a huge mustard fan but I know it's so much better for you than other condiments, and along the same lines of wanting to add flavor to food, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this little guy. When I added it to my lettuce wraps it was really good and a whole new, exciting flavor - one that I really enjoyed!

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A few other quick tips:

  • Check labels. You'll find sugar in the most unexpected places- I found it on the sunflower seeds in my pantry. ?
  • Meal prep. Meal prep. Meal prep. I  didn't meal prep this week because the challenge started on a Wednesday, but let me tell ya: when I got home at 8 pm after Crossfit Thursday night, I was really wishing dinner was made!
  • Invest in glass tupperware. It's awesome.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself - I did, on the cauliflower mash that first night!
  • Go to the store as needed. Read: as needed. It's easy to walk in the supermarket and start buying anything that's paleo because in your mind, you need to "stock up," but try sticking to what you need that day or the next or else this gets really expensive really fast!
  • Try new recipes. Experiment. Search #paleo on Instagram or pinterest.

So, what do you think of my first week? Any tips for improvement or suggestions of paleo recipes or shortcuts/tips you want to share? I'm all ears!

What have you been eating lately?